Angry New Yorker

Friday, March 01, 2024

The NYC Department of Transportation has a long history of failure on the ground in the past two decades, but none will prove to be more damaging to NYC than the Rube Goldberg-like congestion pricing plan scheduled to begin soon. While the ongoing congestion pricing scheme is spearheaded by the MTA, it has the full support of the DoT whose Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez, is a fanatic supporter of speed cameras, bus and bike lanes (more on that later), and apparently defers to the DoT wing that believes making it more and more difficult for drivers across the city - in order to force people into mass transit - while adding more and more unused dedicated bike lanes as part of its primary mission.

Historically, the NYC DoT is hostage to the MTA, the Port Authority of NJ & NY, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and ultimately subservient to the Governor, with the current accidental holder of that office being a mediocrity who gives mediocrities a bad name. She recently claimed in a public statement that, "[c]ongestion pricing means cleaner air, better transit and less gridlock on New York City's streets and today's vote by the MTA Board is a critical step forward," It will result in none of the three items stated and is pure and simple a money-grab by the MTA, an utterly dysfunctional agency who lost an estimated $690 million last year alone to fare jumpers, which the MTA won't enforce against because such enforcement has a claimed "disparate impact" on minorities. 

Indeed, one fact alone demonstrates why congestion pricing is not about curbing "congestion." Under the currently proposed scheme drivers will still pay a congestion toll (albeit lower) in the wee hours overnight when Manhattan streets are effectively empty and discouraging "congestion" is a non-issue. It's about the money. End of story.


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